mead cohen berger shevtsova garfinkle michta grygiel blankenhorn
The End of Snow, 13 Years On


In 2000, the British newspaper The Independent ran an article about the end of snow, quoting one of the world’s more prominent climate scientist like so:

According to Dr. David Viner, a senior research scientist at the climatic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia, within a few years winter snowfall will become “a very rare and exciting event”.

“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.

13 years later, people are skiing in Spain in June.

This should not be taken as proof there is no global warming, but it is very clear proof indeed that green experts don’t understand climate change nearly as well as they think they do. And given that their track record on developing workable policies to address climate change is even worse than their record at predicting the weather, we are not surprised that greens find it harder and harder to get traction for big, complicated and expensive laws that somehow never perform as advertised.

Incidentally, there might be an opportunity here for the GOP if it’s smart enough to seize it. That’s the argument made by James Pethokoukis in a must-read piece over at AEI. There are several smart ways to start talking about climate change that don’t involve massive top-down schemes that are almost by definition destined to fail, and Petholoukis points to some of them. A properly-designed revenue neutral carbon tax is something we’d like to see debated a bit more by the politicians and analyzed more by the wonks. We think shifting more of the tax burden from payroll taxes to energy use might encourage job creation and accelerate the shift from an industrial to an information economy, in addition to any climate change benefits it could offer. (We also think that promoting telework would be good for society generally as well as having significant environmental effects.)

In any case, happy skiing to our friends in the Pyrenees, and best summer wishes to our UK friends putting a hard and snowy winter behind them. And we wish the global greens a happy summer of announcing every heat wave as proof that the climate disaster is already here—until winter returns and they go back to telling us, correctly, that “weather isn’t climate.”

[Skiing photo courtesy Shutterstock]

Features Icon
show comments
  • Pete

    And this fool Viner still has his job.


  • Isaac Ohel

    I am glad to read that a revenue-neutral carbon tax is something that you may support. I believe that whether or not you are a “green”, it makes sense.

  • Kavanna

    The only good tax in this area, should it prove necessary, is a tax based on CO2 emission per Joule or BTU. It would hit the hydrocarbons in various ways, coal hardest, natgas least.

    The revenue should be spend on one thing only, planting trees and encouraging plants of all sorts. Plants tend to be shy in any case and need some coaxing :$

    The gasoline equivalent would be a cent or so per gallon.

    I’m sure that even something this simple will be screwed up by our deranged and corrupt political class.

  • Charles R Harris

    I won’t be happy until CO2 is at around 800 ppm. That looks to be a near optimum value for plant growth.

© The American Interest LLC 2005-2016 About Us Masthead Submissions Advertise Customer Service